I am so grateful to have spent the past 4 months as a part of the Gryphon Football program for my fall co-op position. This semester I have been presented with some of the coolest opportunities and been introduced to some great people, all while exploring a unique field for a potential career.
Before I started in September, I was feeling a little out of my depth. I admit that I didn’t grow up in a family that watched football – we were a hockey bunch – and I knew absolutely nothing about the game, but this job was a 4-month football crash course on everything I needed to know.
It was a whirlwind of a start being that my first day of work was the first home game of the season. I was in awe of the team and the program from the very beginning. I couldn’t believe the amount of people and effort that goes into making Gryphon Football the successful program that it is.
This position was unlike any job I’ve had, and I quickly learned it was not a typical 9-5 with free weekends. It required an incredible amount of independence, self-regulation, time management, and thinking on my feet to solve problems. Every time I would see someone I know, I always got the question, “Hey Emily, what exactly are you doing for Gryphon Football?” And it was hard to explain because the role and my daily responsibilities were so diverse and always changing. My official job title was Business Development Consultant, which loosely translates to all communications, alumni relations, events, and a dash of social media. My main responsibilities included putting together the monthly newsletter, keeping the website up-to-date with articles, pictures, and events, running the fantasy football league, distributing clothing orders, organizing events, handling a lot of alumni and Friends of Gryphon Football relations, and executing any other new ideas that came up along the way. My job was basically to help advance the program in any possible way.
My favourite thing about working for Gryphon Football was the atmosphere. Everyday at the Pavilion or on the road was exciting and energetic. There is a huge sense of family surrounding the program and the team. I found myself so invested in the team and the sport and wanting to learn all about it. This energy was then passed on to my family and friends who started to follow the social media accounts, and my mom would even text me for score updates although she has never watched a football game in her life.
Being in this position I truly felt part of the team. I was able to watch the games on the sideline, travel with the team to away games, watch practices, and, best of all, attend the team dinner the night before game day and listen to the motivating speeches.
My favourite experiences I’ve had with the team was getting to meet The Reklaws after they performed at half-time on Homecoming, when I was able to travel up to Ottawa for the semi-finals and meet up with my sister who is a student at OttawaU, and witnessing the semi-final game-winning touchdown with less than a minute left that punched our ticket to the Yates Cup and all the excitement that followed.
My co-op term with Gryphon Football sure flew by these past four months. I learned valuable skills in my field of interest that will help me with future jobs while having a lot of fun at the same time. This experience even has me considering a career path in the sports marketing field. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given in this position, and I’m even more excited to be sticking around part-time for another semester while returning to school, which will allow me to see through all of the exciting events we have planned for the New Year!